Introduction • It is a rare, but spectacular, condition in which a person who has developmental disorders also has astonishing level of ability, brilliance or talent. • Condition can be acquired genetically or later in life( from CNS injury, disease, etc) • Unclear what the cause is; many savants have abnormalities in the left hemisphere of the brain • Only about 50-100 recognized prodigious savants in the world currently.
Savant Skills • Savants can have outstanding abilities in music, artistic talent, calendar calculations, multilingual acquisition ability, complex math calculations. • Splinter skills-preoccupation with, and memorization of, music and sports trivia, maps, historical facts etc • Talented savants- possess special musical, artistic, mathematical skills. • Prodigious savants- Rare persons where their special skills are so outstanding that it would be spectacular even if it were to occur in non-handicapped person.
Kim Peek • Has read and memorized over 12,000 books and reads a book in about 1 hour( 10 sec/page). • He can retain a very high 98% of information he reads. • Also memorized historical facts and can do calculations involving dates etc. • Has scored well below on IQ tests, but scored high on some subtests • Inspiration for the film ‘Rain Man’, which introduced people to this rare disorder • However, he has trouble doing simple tasks such as buttoning up his shirt and other ordinary motor skills
Daniel Tammet • Can do complex math calculations instantly. He recited pi to 22,514 places from memory in 5 hours • He has synesthesia, so he sees numbers and letters as shapes. For him every number up to 10,000 has its own unique shape • He speaks 11 languages and is creating a new language called Manti • He was challenged to learn Icelandic in one week. Then he was interviewed on Icelandic television speaking the language fluently
Conclusion • Unknown what the cause of savant syndrome is • Therefore, there are no treatments or methods of prevention • Scientists hope studying people with savant syndrome might help us answer these questions and better understand how our brains function. • And this might one day lead us to have these extraordinary abilities but without any drawbacks such as lack of social interaction with people and other side effects!